If you are you swimming outdoors more or indeed wanting to this year then prioritising your safety is important. No matter how fun outdoor swimming can be, the open waters are still part of the wilderness and should be regarded with caution.
One way to ensure you’re swimming safely is wearing a highly visible tow float. Below you will find out what a tow float is and why it’s necessary to bring it with you on your next outdoor swim.
Before Anything Else, What's a Tow Float?
A tow float is a brightly coloured inflatable buoy attached to your body through a waistband and leash. As you swim, it floats behind you out of arm's reach, making you more visible to others in the nearby area, especially boats and jet skis.
Tow floats come in a variety of styles — from the typical single use inflatable to a tow float that doubles as a dry bag for storing valuables or even clothes. You may also use a tow float as a pillow to lean on and enjoy the sunshine while you wait for other swimmers to catch up.
Besides these practical benefits, tow floats can also provide several other advantages.
Tow floats make great floating containers for your belongings. Dry Bag floats are available in various sizes. They can be just big enough for a phone and your keys, which are the most popular for everyday swims. They can also be big enough for all your clothes, a towel, and a few snacks, ideal if you're performing a one-way swim.
A tow donut can also serve as a holder for your waterproof phone bag, allowing you to call for help instead of relying on waving or shouting for assistance.
Improving Visibility in Open Water
Other water users and sea crafts, such as jet skis or small boats, will find it hard to see you until the very last moment. This can be dangerous, especially if there's a little amount of waves between you and them. While experts always recommend wearing a bright swim cap, a tow float adds a crucial layer of visibility and helps you to quickly see other swimmers if you're in a group.
Providing Support and Rest
Although a tow float is not a buoyancy aid, it can be terrific support when you're tired or have unexpected cramp. If you need a break you can lean on your tow float as you catch your breath. You can also hug it and float along while chatting with other members of your swim group.
Some swimmers feel that tow floats will slow them down or get in the way. A high quality tow float will produce minimal drag and will not obstruct your stroke. You won't even realise your tow float is there most of the time. Suggestion: Why not try a small one if you haven't tried swimming with one yet.
We offer tow floats that keep open water swimmers visible and their belongings safe. You can browse our floats here.